Friday, 31 July 2009

Thought for the day

"I'm of two minds - whether to skilfully weave my personal history into the warp and woof of a subtle plot structure that evolves through the play and counterplay of mimetic imagery to reveal my narrative point of view as an integral part of this literary work, or whether to just dump my life story into your lap out of sheer lack of writing ability."
- P.J. O'Rourke, Unpaid Bills

Gainful unemploy

Joyce: Did you have anything to do with his brother's death?

Mike: Yes.

Joyce: This is what comes of having no regular job.
- Joe Orton, The Ruffian on the Stair

Creative destruction

"It is every aspect of my life. It is destroying every relationship in my life. I am having an affair with it. I am obsessed with it 24 hours a day... I am constantly in a terror about failing, like all artists."
- Matt Weiner, creator [as in, writer] of the incomparably brilliant Mad Men.

Titles gone begging - 9

Vaticanimation: a complete history of popes in celluloid.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Why we write (sort of)

"The torpor of his mind renders him not only incapable of relishing or bearing a part in any rational conversation, but of conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment, and consequently of forming any just judgement concerning many even of the ordinary duties of private life."
- Adam Smith [with an 'i'], on people with jobs.

Writer's Re: Treat

From my fellow amnesiac, en Espana:
"A sunny Spanish villa stocked with Rioja and bikini-clad women is not the peaceful working environment one might think..."

A little bit of Ceylon (in Brixton)

Interview with artist/author/lecturer Roma Tearne.

Getting vocal

Her: "When did you become such an outspoken arse?"

Me: "When I learned to talk."


"Another awful place is Burton-on-Trent..."
- Sally 'Traffic' Boazman (who should also be credited with one of the more honest online biogs)

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Right! Who borrowed my phone?

I was trying to send someone a message the other day that required the use of the word frump.

Needless to say, my phone did not recognise it; but what it did have - DEF, PQRS, TUV, MNO... (feel free to check) - was '3SUM'.

As though I'd ever spell it like that!

The problem, nutshelled

"We spent almost all our time together, partly working but mostly sitting around, lying around, driving around, and talking constantly, all day and all night, as only very young people can, about everything that can be imagined, which is to say about nothing that can be recalled."
- P.J. O'Rourke, Age and Guile

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Lord of the Land

"Hunter was my friend and neighbour, the man who never paid his rent, broke up my marriage, and taught my children to smoke dope."
- George Stranahan, landlord of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson.

Martin Luther King (in context)

"I have a dream. You know that one where you're falling..."

Try and make it to

I hope to be there.


"I began to write for pay in the spring of 1970, albeit that the pay was mostly peanut butter sandwiches and mattress space. The mattress was not very clean. But neither was I."
- P.J. O'Rourke, Age and Guile


"The thing about tennis is that I'll never be as good as a wall. I played a wall once. They're fucking relentless."
- Mitch Hedberg (as seen in Charlie Brooker's column yesterday).

I honestly didn't know

that my fellow amnesiac ran the 200m.

Taking the peas


Monday, 27 July 2009

Has anyone seen Prince Michael 2?

Tito’s children were also in a band, called 3T. They are called Taj, Taryll and TJ. TJ stands for Tito Joe. The Jacksons like to name their children after themselves. Jermaine has a child called Jermajesty. Michael called his children Michael, Paris-Michael and Prince Michael.
- Sam Leith, Prospect


"If I’d been burned alive because of bad grades, my parents would have killed me"
- David Sedaris

When school was finished, I went back home, an Ivy League graduate with four years’ worth of dirty laundry and his whole life ahead of him. “What are you going to do now?” my parents asked.

And I said, “Well, I was thinking of washing some of these underpants.”

That took six months. Then I moved on to the shirts.

“Now what?” my parents asked.

And, when I told them I didn’t know, they lost what little patience they had left. “What kind of a community-college answer is that?” my mother said. “You went to the best school there is—how can you not know something?”

And I said, “I don’t know.”
All taken, of course, from this mini-masterpiece.


1. David Cameron seems to have gotten hold of a copy of my manuscript.

2. There's such a thing as the 'London 2012 Countdown Coin'. Available from the Royal Mint for just £5.

3. Really.


"Jacques Chirac watched sumo wrestling"
- The Guardian


If they're always repairing the London Underground, how come it never works?

Sexual advisory

Never kick a man when he's going down.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

As reported by Jeremy Vine

London DJ hypersensitive to WiFi
All I want to know is, if he hangs around outside my house, can he eavesdrop on my e-mails?


"It's easy to be cynical. But it's also fun. So carry on: well done!"
- Ken 'I'm not Wogan!' Bruce.


I told the dentist, 'My jaw is inflamed and I'm pretty sure it's my wisdom teeth: it's probably time to have them out.'

He looked in my mouth and said, 'Your jaw is inflamed and it's your wisdom teeth: maybe it's time to have them out.'

I paid him £45 and left.


To Amazon, Moss Bros, my first primary-school teacher and anyone else perplexed by issues of basic spelling, my name is not SMITH.

Thank you for listening.

Spam du jour

Masturzo Nogoda
(No, I didn't open it.)

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Bona find

Thanks to my fellow Amnesiac, I was researching 'grilling beards' on Urban Dictionary (I had a hunch...) when I came across this:

1. grilled piece of shit
cock who [sic.] has just been in a gay ass
Hey John please take your grilled piece of shit out of my ass
There's no such thing as useless knowledge; but what really got me was the follow-up link:

get this def on a mug

The Amnesiac Review recommends...

Robert Twigger and his new novel, Dr Ragab's Universal Language.

My bird, on theatregoers

"Why do people go to the theatre? Is it so they can eat dinner at 5:30?"

Swine flu

Still, at least it wasn't a virus.


Answer: Shit loads. Obviously.

Overheard on the baseball commentary just now

"Who cares if you can write if you can make plays like that?"
I guess those who can't make plays like that, write. (And those who can't write plays, make like that.)

Titles gone begging - 8

Wheezy Listening: Classicfm and its listeners.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Overheard at work today

Frumpy primary school 'teacher': "So, how did you get into painting and decorating, then?"

My brother Jake: "I did a degree in African and Middle Eastern history."


"I’m very good at accepting my flaws. It’s one of the few things I’m good at."
- Patrick Marber

Literary coincidence(?)

Sir Conrad Black and Jonathan Aitken MP both wrote biographies of Richard Nixon.

Both men were later sent to prison.

Launch of The Essentials

in which the Amnesiacs did not double-team actress Charity Wakefield.

Get your lips off my rim!

Yesterday, I heard on the radio that the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have made an emergency ruling against the sharing of the chalice during Communion, in an effort to help cut down the transmission of swine flu.

I am reminded of the sad tale of Louis XVII (yes, there was: don't start with me), who died, aged 10, of scrofula - a disease the divinely-appointed Kings of France were supposed to be able to cure by the laying on of hands.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

I must know

Is this a joke, or what?

David Thompson

puts words into Humphrey Bogart's mouth:

Look, I'm hardly pretty, he seems to say. I sound like gravel; I look rough and tough; and, honest, I don't give you the soft, foolish answers the pretty boys will give you. You may not like what I say, but you better believe it.

Jesus (in context)

"My father's house has many rooms... All of them full of junk."

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Essential info

The authors of this blog

used to have great admiration for all things Charlize Theron.

And then, this:

Sorry, Charlize. It's over.

COULDN'T MAKE IT UPDATE: "Demi Moore's actor husband Ashton had the best seats in the venue as he sat at the end of Chelsea's bench with his Kabbalah teacher Yehuda Berg."

Holy fucking


On women

VF: What is the quality you most like in a woman?
WC: I’m strongly urged by advisers not to say “moral laxity,” so let’s say “sense of humor.”
- Walter Cronkite, interviewed by Vanity Fair

SHE: 'You don't like intelligent women, that's why you're disagreeing with me.'
ME: 'I do like intelligent women, but sadly you're not one of them.'
- peaceable philosopher type, Alain de Botton

The wisdom of Paul Richards

"I've not been taught to write properly; but the good thing is that nowadays that doesn't matter."
- PR, biographer, singer and school-teacher (ret.)

Aesthetics 101

To make a thing deliberately beautiful is a dastardly act.
- Louis I Kahn, high-flying architect.

To make a thing deliberately ugly is a bastardly act.
- ASH Smyth, low-flying critic.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009


An old friend called, in a flap because, for various reasons - emotional, logistical, and precautionary - she has been driven to re-filing her ex-boyfriend's number under 'NO!!'

'Will that work?' I asked, incredulous.

'Well, it did with you.'

Funnily enough...

my phone does not (did not) recognise the adverb 'funnily'.

This is surprising - not to say ominous.

Thought for the day

"[I]n a single morning I would go through the emotions ascribable to Wellington at Waterloo. I lived in a world of inscrutable hostiles and inalienable friends and supporters."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Crack-Up.

On politics

A politician is anyone who asks individuals to surrender part of their liberty.
- PJ O'Rourke

Titles Gone Begging - 7

From Pharaohs to Fair Dos: developing good governance in the ancient world

Monday, 20 July 2009


Westport, Conn.

BOOKSTORES are getting shipments of a significantly changed edition of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpiece, “A Moveable Feast,” first published posthumously by Scribner in 1964. This new edition, also published by Scribner, has been extensively reworked by a grandson who doesn’t like what the original said about his grandmother, Hemingway’s second wife.

The grandson has removed several sections of the book’s final chapter and replaced them with other writing of Hemingway’s that the grandson feels paints his grandma in a more sympathetic light. Ten other chapters that roused the grandson’s displeasure have been relegated to an appendix, thereby, according to the grandson, creating “a truer representation of the book my grandfather intended to publish.”

(Thanks to Maggie)

Thought for the day

I want to be
so I can be
about being

What good is my
when I am
in this
- David Budbill, Dilemma

(Thanks to Dee Dee)

The death of ASH Smyth, freelancer

Via text message:
'Am painting a primary school (or the 'ICT suite' of one, anyway). You wouldn't BELIEVE the mistakes on the walls. It's killing me!'

Sunday, 19 July 2009

The past vs. the present

Even the bad things are better than they used to be. Bad music, for instance, has gotten much briefer. Wagner's Ring Cycle takes four days to perform while 'Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm' by the Crash Test Dummies lasts little more than three minutes.
- PJ O'Rourke tackles the Generation Xperts, in All the Trouble in the World

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Advice to parents

"If you bring a child up to think for himself, don't be surprised when he does."
- John Higham, father of

Friday, 17 July 2009

Literarily: the tragically predictable sequel

My father calls me into the study. I find him staring at his computer.

Me: Yes?
Him: Thanks for sending me this 'Books' thing.
Me: Er, sure.
Him: I've clicked on the link.
Me: Yup...
Him: How do I look at the rest of the blog?
Me: Oh, right. You click on Amnesiac Review at the top there.

He clicks. Large picture of small man on panto horse being touched inappropriately by medium-sized, bearded man.

Me: [Hurriedly] Um, but you don't need to click through to that because I specifically sent you the relevant post.
Him: OK.


Him: So what d'you want me to do with it?
Me: Eh?
Him: What am I supposed to do with the link?
Me: Nothing. Well, laugh. It's funny, right? Things Fall Apart on a books conservation site?
Him: So why's there a link to the British Library?
Me: Nggghhh... [Long slow breath] Just in case anyone was in any doubt that there actually is a book by that name - it wouldn't be funny if I'd made it up... You HAVE heard of it?
Him: Yes, it's by Chinua Achebe.
Me: Correct.
Him: But -
Me: Never mind... [leaving]
Him: So you don't want me to adopt a book?
Me: NO!

Thursday, 16 July 2009


The British Library is asking for sponsors to help cover the cost of restoring some 200 selected titles in their collection.

One of the books on offer is Things Fall Apart.

World's greatest lyric singer

... gets touched up by Sting.

[Thanks to Benedict Hymas. (Your grubnuts are in the post.)]

Least surprising headline

in rock and roll history. Here.

[See also - 'all that's worst about life in the USA.']

Brilliant stuff

from Geoff Dyer:
"Conceived as a distraction, it immediately took on the distracted character of that from which it was intended to be a distraction, namely myself."
- from Page 1 (God help me!) of Out of Sheer Rage.

Somewhat overdue, but still...

Seeing Oasis live, at Wembley.

Thought for the day

"[H]e could pass the entire day in a twilight of boredom and arousal."
- Ian McEwan, On Chesil Beach

Glass of water on a shelf half empty

This approach – passionate about the work, doubtful of economic reward – has always been the best attitude for an artist to have throughout history. It costs money to be a student and they expect it to cost money to be an artist: making films, printing photographs, buying canvases. But it's something they have to do. They are what you might call hardheaded dreamers. Art, says Underhill, "is a strange relationship that you have with yourself".
From here.

(Thanks to RN MA)

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Thought for the day

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
- Anaïs Nin.

And so does something else.

Overheard in the coffee shop

A pair of aging/aged rockers, sipping Coca-Cola, munching on goats cheese salad baguettes. Says one rocker to the other rocker (in a perfect Ozzy Osbourne/Nigel Tuffnel accent):
"Oh, man, I haven't had sex in six months."

Philosophy of balls #3

It's not that I lack 'that killer instinct'.

It's that I lack 'those killer skills'.

The ultimate eulogy

"His death has shocked anyone who had any contact with him or knew his work. The drugs were all there in the artwork (and the rumours), but so was a sense of real beauty and honesty. It wasn't necessarily the aesthetic of his work, but its independence that made it so influential. He simply didn't give a shit."
Francesca Gavin on Dash Snow.

(Thanks to RN MA.)

Research LATEST

So do women.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Philosophy of balls #2

Every summer, there comes a moment where the Smyth family tennis balls are discovered to be flat beyond use. Curiously, this revelation always occurs during a match which I lose.

Overheard at the Salem Public Library, Vol. 3

1. "I'm not sure if you're the person to ask, but I'm interested in how someone would perform an exorcism..."

2. Man on phone: "What are your hours today?" Me: "10am to 5pm" Man on phone: "Ok...and you're open?"

3. Crazy man to me: "Do you like working here? Do you like ALL the books? I bet you don't like novels. Doris Day!"

Patron Names of the Weekend: Twinkle Yumasi & Yu Hu

(Courtesy of Mrs. Dee Dee "Suck on my pencil" Cusack.)

Google ads

This just appeared on the Amnesiac Review/blogger dashboard...

Sofa Rash Compensation
Helping Sofa Rash & Burn sufferers
100% Compensation - No Win No Fee
What key word triggered THAT?!

Reality TV pitch

"fat asthmatic kid with claustrophobia and allergic to bee stings, in a small room, with 1 bee released into the room every 2 minutes, and a tennis racquet with only 4 strings to ward them off – kid must remain in the room for 24 hours to win ?10k."
[Thanks to PC, all round fop and master torturer]

Submission guidelines

3) The Puritan's only mandate is quality. Or literary celebrity.
Alas, like so many publications, The Puritan is no more.

I don't mean to quibble...

East-European szhppam

"Престижные часы Patek Philippe, Rado, Hublot. Экономьте в кризис, цены от 7475 рублей.‏"
All I really want to know is - How does 'Donnie Eubanks' know I speak Russian?!

Monday, 13 July 2009

InDefinition - Guest Entry

Specialist, n. Someone whose expertise is breadth-taking.
- Julian Baggini

The philosophy of balls #1

When I was about 10 someone told me I was a 'serve-and-volley' kind of guy.

That advice has stuck with me.

I serve, I volley... I hope like hell that nothing else is required.

Travel advisory

For rockers:


From my (newly-wed) pal Dr. Björn Öldbean:
"India is always interesting. Out on the street just now I heard lots of drums being beaten, and when I looked a tightrope had been set up and a kid was walking across it with a water jar on her head."

Overheard at the Salem Public Library, Vol. 2

1. Five-year-old boy to other child's grandmother: "So, what kind of car do YOU drive?"

2. Confused little girl to mother: "Happy Thanksgiving!"

3. "I'm looking for a boy, his name is Benjamin, I call him Ben WHERE IS HE?!"

4. Crazy Obese Lady wearing a crop top and plastic bags on her hands: "Has my copy of House Beautiful arrived yet?"

Patron Names of the Week: Marisa Flomp & Randy Paradise

(Courtesy of Mrs. Dee Dee Cusack.)

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Extracts from B&Q pamphlet

Rent the Rug Doctor
... and put the Freshness back with professional results everytime!

Do you remember...

How good it looked?
How soft it felt?
That fresh smell?

Although it's lightweight and easy to use the Rug Doctor has the power to remove the dirt other cleaners leave behind.

With our unique vibrating brush system... why pay for a professional service when you can do it yourself for so much less and at a time that suits you?

Friday, 10 July 2009


My girlfriend................................... .....My... oh.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Answer to Ashes-related Question of the day

A 'faece-wipe', surely?

Ashes-related Question of the day

"What's the collective noun for a collection of shit-eating grins?"
- Jack Sandham, again.

Question of the day

"What's the writing equivalent of dropping your pick into your guitar?"
- Jack Sandham

Mein Digital Era Kampf

[Thanks to AH, after Everett True]

InDefinition - 7

singletonne, n. Unattached female, often for obvious reasons. (Orig. Fr.)


Life is the bind that glues us together.

Voice breaking news

King of Pop Dead At 12

My (American) girlfriend, on The Ashes

"So, which teams are playing today?"

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Beyond criticism

I shall not see - and don't I know 'em?
A critic lovely as a poem.
- Dorothy Parker, Song in the Worst Possible Taste, For a Certain Mr. S., Who Got Too Personal

(Thanks to Sancho Panties)

What's that scraping noise?

As located in my girlfriend's spambox, so to speak:
From: ED Pills News

Subject: Your wang will reach ceiling

A right festive cluster

[With thanks to Mr Christian Goursaud, for actually being in the damn thing.]

Luther (in context)

"Here I stand... It's my piles..."

Porcine point-scoring

According to Facebook, my mate Rich knows* two women by the name(s) of Rosie Hogflesh and Ellie Wildbore.

Apparently he also knows someone called Jennifer Herron, though, so I don't think he's trying to set a trend, or anything.

* not necessarily in the Biblical sense, you understand.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Of divers colours

London's fashionistas show us how it's done.

Booze just in

Alcohol shoves a grandiose but nervous mind into a trench of this world and fills it with impatience about the future.
- Dr. Arnold Mandell, co-chair psychiatry dept., UCSD

Overheard on the train

"'This train is the service to Canterbury West'? Is that right?"
"Yes. It's going all the way down there."
Excerpted from a long and painful conversation between two old bags (+ luggage) - the sort who have to touch each other's knees when they say something of monumental import, who never sit near you when you've actually got your iPod, and who you know, instinctively and immediately, will be with you for the full duration of your journey.

Other highlights include: an uncle's forthcoming medical procedure (rights and wrongs thereof); feebly risqué references to husband and the "or pear" [au pair, for those readers who don't speak Sarfeast]; "Are you happy to sit facing the way we're going?" (x4); and "There's Battersea."

At one point, one of them spends a full five minutes trying to write and despatch an SMS.


"Ooh! Message from Sue [both chuckle, apropos of nothing]. I said to her 'if you're not on time, don't worry, we'll wait.'"

InDefinition - 6

Marxist feminism, n. No sex for everyone


I've seen everything.

I think I just vommed a little

in my mouth.

Monday, 6 July 2009



Amnesiac Recommends

Wherein it is hoped that Tim FitzHigham, FRGS, Bt. will be giving the Amnesiacs a massive plug.

(Click image to book - and say 'Bath' to get a £2 discount per ticket.)

Overheard in charity shop

... by the book section:

Old crone: Which bit of history are you most interested in?

Young crone: Any bit, as long as it doesn't feel like a waste of time.
While trying to come up with a witticism involving historians repeating one another (and wits, likewise), I confess I felt a nagging sympathy for my fellow customer's quandary.

How many men does it take...

Three men came round to lay a carpet today.

Two did the fitting, while one sat in the van, on the kerb, for the duration.

Loo x 2

My father recently repainted the downstairs bathroom.

He moved the mirror from the wall to the window-sill, and hasn't put it back yet.

Now every time I use the toilet I have to watch myself pee, in stereo.

'Ograsm'? As in Shrek?

How too Give a Woman an Ograsm That Will Have Her Dragging You Back Night After Night For More‏
- Sender's name, no jokes: Mausoleum.

Thought for the day

If ignorance is bliss, why keep dentists in college for the better part of a decade?

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The Amnesinsomniac Review

Advice for Insomnia
  • Avoid caffeine.
  • Don't drink before bed.
  • Don't eat too much before bed.
  • Take a bath before bed.
  • Exercise.
  • Sleep alone.
- Taken from The Skinny: On Losing Weight Without Being Hungry by Louis J. Arrone, M.D. The last piece of advice actually goes on to say, "Many people wake less often if they sleep alone, away from the distractions of a spouse or pet."

So now I'm wondering: if you couldn't make it up, what's the point in writing fiction?

Er, run that one by me again, will you, pal?

"There may be more of them [professional journalists], not fewer, as the ability to participate in journalism extends beyond the credentialed halls of traditional media. But they may be paid far less, and for many it won’t be a full time job at all. Journalism as a profession will share the stage with journalism as an avocation. Meanwhile, others may use their skills to teach and organize amateurs to do a better job covering their own communities, becoming more editor/coach than writer. If so, leveraging the Free—paying people to get other people to write for non-monetary rewards—may not be the enemy of professional journalists. Instead, it may be their salvation."
- From Free: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine. (See Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker review here.)

For what it's worth, I'm assuming the techno-utopian Anderson was paid for his book, sells copies of it, and charges for a copy of his magazine.

It's a bitch convincing people to like you

I could tell that Perry was held in ungrudging affection, which in Dublin meant that a writer was too old or too chronically a failure to provoke envy.
- Hugh Leonard, Fillums

Saturday, 4 July 2009

The 15(b) golden rules of theatre etiquette

... according to Benedict Nightingale and me:

15b (and corringendum)
Do NOT, under any circumstances, sniff. If you're ill, stay at home; if you're just ill-bred, stay out of the theatre.

Top of her class-consciousness

“I didn’t realise before That Face that writing about the middle classes so scathingly was quite a rare thing. But there’s no mystery as to why I write from that perspective. I’m middle-class.”
- under-age playwright, Polly Stenham

Friday, 3 July 2009

The post-Blur blur


Just out of interest, what's so great about the great unwashed?


Amnesiac Review offices, SE24

In Ernes'

To drop one 't' may be regarded as a misfortune. To drop two looks like Kentishness.

Revelatory trivia

Hitler was a chorister.

That is all.

Overheard at the Salem Public Library, Vol. 1

1. Old lady, looking at a copy of "A Time To Kill" by John Grisham: "Oh that's nice, you never seem to be able to plan hacking someone to pieces, it just sort of...happens."

2. "Excuse me, could you help me find a book? I don't know the title. It's by a female author from the South who may or may not be dead. She writes stories. Have you read it?"

3. "I'm pretty sure Flannery O'Connor is a dude."

4. "And that's why the Goddess gave us boobs."

(Courtesy of Mrs. Dee Dee Cusack, sexy cardigan-wearing pencil-chewing seductress extraordinaire.)

Not even my own

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Smyth says

"Give a man a fish and he'll feed himself for a day. Give a man a hat and he'll be an arsehole for the rest of his life."


This just in from my mate Jack:
"Hello Tiger Bone, How are you? I just got back from the sex farm. The german Springsteen impersonator 'Springstein' was particularly gut. My favourite songs Donner Bahn and Tanzen in der Dunkel."


Henry Dingle on MySpace

Vive la barbe!

Am musician. Have beard.

Nuff said.


Now is your chance. Ambitious publisher is looking for journalists who know and love sports and who wouldn't mind living in the tropical paradise of Puerto Rico.
Unfortunately, this position was advertised in 1959 - and was filled by one Hunter S Thompson.

Also, I wouldn't say I know about sport(s), exactly...

Not in front of the choristers!

Fitting tribute to Michael 'Beat It with both manuals' Jackson.

(It's not just me, is it? You can actually hear congregants laughing... Nuff respeck.)

Housemaid's knee

In a moment of self-indulgence this morning, I tried searching for 'Smyth' in the archives of a regional newspaper to which I am a frequent contributor.

Results returned:

'Super Smyth in four-goal blitz' (setting the standard)
'Smyth and Beer both bag four' (standard night out)
'Hawks at bottom' (standard night in)
'Oxon's freak goal in vain' (standard shrink's assessment)
'Bank bans customer for boob joke' (Evening Standard)
Tragically, not one of these has anything to do with me.

NB Unlike Nixon or Vaughan, Smyth does not traditionally refer to himself in the third person.

The wisdom of Ross Michael Brown

My company has got me in this horrendous situation where I am obliged to work for 40 hours a week in return for a monthly salary. It's like living under Mao...
- RMB, on life in the (year of the) pig pen

Ross Michael Brown is head of the Amnesiac special ops division, hereafter known as The Carpenters.

The Duckworth Lewis Method

... is now the name of a band.

Their eponymous album will be out on Monday, July 6th. Until then, you can listen to the whole lot here - free and legaleasy.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Old newspaper adage

"Never pick a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel."
- Toby Ziegler, The West Wing

Here at the Amnesiac Review, we don't buy ink: we mix our own.

Damned with great praise

"I see him as a genius writer, but an amateur human being."
- William McKeen on Hunter S Thompson

"I learned a new word today, Basie" - 11

five-finger discount, n. Stealing stuff.

Criticising critics

Important, frank note on arts criticism from Jonathan Jones. Shame he works for The Guardian, but still...

Bad news

Good news: you'll probably still be in in time to catch the fifth set.

Tanzanite Hour

I've just tuned in to Netplay TV, only to discover that Tanzanite Hour is not Africa's answer to PMQs.

What it is however, is a shitty jewellery programme [ambiguous adjectives + p&p incl.], featuring an Oscar-winning performance from the actress (or whatever you'd call her) tasked with flogging this sub-Ratner trash.

Seriously, for the ability to riff endlessly and with little-to-no understanding of the topic at hand, these shopping-channel lasses knock spots off Gordon Brown. Do they know there'll be seats up for grabs in the next Parliament?

"Time served."

Possibly the best description of office working hours I have ever heard, courtesy of Joshua Ferris.